Volume 2, No. 12 August 2012 FREE
Building Permits are up Sharon Lechner:
Set general goals Dining and Entertainment:
The B.C. experience Jack Vanderkooy Free Enterprise Award winner Cover story: page 3
Running a Successful Small Business
Incorporating St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
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PUBLISHER’S LETTER Vacations? Not exactly by Terry Carroll ..............................page 4
BUSINESS/COMMUNITY Technology The future is here by Peter Atkinson ............................page 5
LIFESTYLES Self Development
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Wine & Food West Coast adventures by Jamie Quai ..............................page 24
HOMESTYLE Decorating Classic, stylish storage by Renée Carpenter ......................page 25
God / The Universe as guides by Sharon Lechner ..........................page 6
BUSINESS / COMMUNITY Personal Health Those pesky mosquitoes by Kelsey Feth ................................page 7
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT Savour Elgin Sweet fudge aromas by Kate Burns ....................pages 26 & 27
HEALTHY LIVING Everyday Health Health care savings by Dr. Greg Johnston ....................page 28
BUSINESS BEAT The Front Page
LIFESTYLES That’s Life!
Construction rebounds ..................page 9
The boys, by bedtime by Elizabeth VanHooren ..............page 29
Reasonable local rents ..................page 10
Time On My Hands
Minimal light by Duncan Watterworth ..............page 30
New data analysis ..........................page 11
Hardworking family creates large business with small plants by Terry Carroll
Action on and off main street ..........page 8
Free Enterprise Award winners
Legal Business Back to the future by Monty Fordham ......................page 12
Pro Text A look at urban myths by Dan Reith ................................page 13
Member News Last call for lunch ........................page 14
Chamber News New directory ................................page 15
Chamber News Buzz from Business After 5 ..........page 16 S P E C I A L F E AT U R E
RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESS Personal Style Opportunity knocks by Terry Carroll ............................page 17
Marketing The desire of others by Allan Weatherall ......................page 18
Integrity Keeping your word by Shane Wyler ............................page 19
Excellence Make the commitment ......pages 20 & 21
For ten years, the Vanderkooy family has been steadily growing a greenhouse business west of Talbotville called Ontario Plants Propagation. It’s a niche market, but a rather large one. The Vanderkooys propagate tomato, pepper and cucumber plants in their greenhouses, and grow them until they are about 14 inches high. The plants are then sold and transplanted to other greenhouse operators who continue to grow them to produce fruit. This is not small potatoes, so to speak. Jack Vanderkooy and his wife Margaret started with 6.5 acres in 2002, and the family now cultivates 18 acres under glass, with an additional 3.5 acres to be added this year. Jack graduated from Guelph University in the mid-seventies and was a dairy farmer for almost 20 years. He sold the dairy business and started a greenhouse, growing tomatoes in Haldimand-Norfolk. From there, he launched a secondary business in plant propagation. He sold those two operations and opened up near Talbotville. The family is one of four dominant plant propagation businesses in this part of the world, producing over 15 million plants annually. Ontario Plants Propagation employs up to 140 people during their busy season. The goal of this family business is to be eastern North America’s premier supplier of tomato, cucumber and pepper plants. Jack has been an active member of Southwold Township’s Economic Development Committee since the group formed in January 2011. He has a little more time for this community work now that the next generation of Vanderkooys is active in the greenhouse operation. “My two sons are very involved in the business. Steve and Tim are now doing more on a day-byday basis than I do,” Jack said. In June, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce recognized the Vanderkooy family, and everyone at Ontario Plants Propagation, with the prestigious 2012 Free Enterprise Award of Merit. Cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutter Studios
Raise yourself above the daily grind..page 22
The Business Plan Join the few with a plan ................page 23
Carroll Publishing Inc. President Terry Carroll Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Kelly Carroll
Elgin This Month Publisher & Editor Terry Carroll Associate Editor Anita LaRue Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley
Graphic Design / Production Jim McHarg Sales Representative Greg Minnema Office Manager Laura Bart
Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.
Published monthly by Carroll Publishing Inc., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm August, 2012
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How I used to spend my summer holidays
Back when farm people did not vacation by Terry Carroll
When I was a kid, we didn’t take holidays together as a family. I don’t say this out of any sort of regret. When you are in elementary school, you accept many things about your family that you only begin to question, post-puberty, in high school. Until that time, everything is normal. And in many ways, not taking holidays as a family was the norm all around us. We lived in Crinan, a church-centred farming community in what is now West Elgin. Only old farmers took holidays - it was a perk of retirement or near-retirement - younger farmers and their families did not. Western Canada was the most popular destination for retired or semi-retired farmers and their wives in my family. The usual thing was to travel by car and arrange to stay in relatives’ homes along the way. Many of these relatives would return the favour when they journeyed back east, so it was something of an equal opportunity exchange. And we kids had the opportunity to visit with people we considered ancient, sometimes boring, sometimes intriguing or strange. During the summer, farm families attended church and family picnics. At home, the kids swam in the water trough and played in the barn when the farm chores were done . . . that part sounds almost idyllic in its own way. We were also farmed out for various short vacation stays, with aunts and uncles or grandparents close to home. Today, this next part seems tame, if not lame. My Grandpa and Grandma Carroll had a television set well before we did. During an overnight sojourn at their place, they let me stay up to watch Perry Mason. A typical kid, I was drawn to what also scared me. The bad guys on the show shocked me. I was too terrified to sleep in a strange bed with a courtroom drama swirling through my head, and too proud to admit it to my grandparents. When I was nine, my brother went to Toronto for a week and returned with a story about a magazine that featured a naked woman with long hair who was ironing clothes. This seemed like an erotic feast almost beyond imagining. I think the fascination extended well beyond the fact that a woman would allow a photographer to shoot her with her breasts exposed, although the very idea was tantalizing. The fact that she was doing an ordinary household chore at the time – that just seemed beyond the beyond. The next year when I went to Toronto to the same house, my ten-year-old head teemed with dreams of magazine possibilities so removed from the recycled Reader’s Digests at our farm house that I could hardly wait to get there. But no Playboys were on display that year, and believe me, I searched. I returned home by train to Glencoe by myself (this in itself might be a symbol of the times). A man in a rumpled business suit and fedora in the passenger car slept intermittently. When he woke, he would swallow a white pill and go back to sleep until the next jarring of the train when he would repeat the pill exercise. It was probably the Perry Mason episode on my grandmother’s television, but I was convinced that he was a drug addict with an unhealthy interest in ten-year-old farm boys. What that interest could possibly be, I had no idea at the time. Probably just as well. Over-active imaginations – they’re allowed when you’re kids in the summer, and the water trough and the hay mow count as excitement.
in many ways, not taking holidays as a family was the norm all around us.
Terry Carroll is the publisher of the St. Thomas /Elgin Weekly News and Elgin This Month.
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ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY August 18, 22, 25 and 29 An intensive workshop for the photographer who wishes to take their skill to the next level. All sessions are held on location at various Elgin county locations for hands-on, practical instruction.
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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS August 23, 30 and September 6 at 630pm This introductory workshop will help you learn how to adjust colour, improve contrast, increase sharpness of your images, create custom images and how to effectively work with labs and custom printers.
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BUSINESS / COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY
I couldn’t make up what’s already happening by Peter Atkinson
I’ve got a grandson visiting and watching him easily interact with technologies that didn’t even exist when I was his age got me wondering about what future technologies he might be amazed by. Of course, politics and business can be powerful forces. All of the technologies I mention below are well on their way to practical use, though there’s no telling where they’ll end up. The key is getting demand and capabilities to match up; witness how green energy has lost some of its momentum as the price of oil has dropped. The gathering political winds to end subsidies for highly-profitable energy companies may mean these subsidies get used to give developing industries a chance to prove their viability. This could mean advances in battery life or, better yet, fuel cells that safely and cheaply produce energy rather than storing it. Or piezo electronics that let devices use movement and pressure – like dialing a phone number – to generate their own power, turbines that use the tides instead of the wind to produce energy, and a smart electrical grid that can manage its inputs efficiently. Technologies often build on one another. Haptics lets devices communicate through the sense of touch, using vibrations and force to create resistance. Game controllers do this today, but longer term, haptics could play a key role in remote surgery, giving people who are homebound or at an accident site access to care. As haptics becomes commonplace, it will make handheld devices more ca-
The future of technology
pable, in turn making piezo electronics more feasible. Graphene is the world’s thinnest and strongest material. We’re years from seeing practical applications but if it gets used for half the things it looks like it can do it, will be revolutionary. Its many potential uses include speeding up the Internet, cooling electronic devices, making batteries more efficient and transistors more powerful, (and thereby cheaper to
run). It’s self-healing and also two-dimensional. I am not making this up. 3-D printing is another amazing technology that’s starting to take off. Someday we could see a 3-D printer in every home, used as personal fabricators. A struggling retailer like Zeller’s might decide that its future would be to sell off its stores and use the money to give away 3-D printers. They’d make money by charging for the plans for consumers to produce products at home. Prices would
plummet – there’d be no middleman. You’d choose your materials, colours, tweak the design and even add customizations that you’d never be able to get in any old-school store. That my wife treats her headaches with Tylenol and I use aspirin gives me high hopes for advances in genetics. There are potentially massive moral and privacy pitfalls – insurance companies setting rates based on a possible medical future instead of an actual medical history, for example. But I’m excited by the idea of personalized medicines, synthetic blood and – another use for 3-D printing – organ printing, all working to improve outcomes and save lives. And, of course, there’s robots. It’s unlikely we’ll ever have our own C3PO, simply because it makes more sense to use robots for tasks, rather than as companions. So we have the room-cleaning Roomba, a robotic receptionist in Japan and even toys that are getting smarter. But the next big development will be in Nevada where lawmakers have approved selfdriving vehicles. Again, I am not making this up. This list isn’t meant to be complete and it’s a sure bet that someone, somewhere is working away in a basement on something my grandson hasn’t heard of yet. I’d love it if that basement was in Elgin County.
Peter Atkinson is E-Services Consultant at the St. Thomas Public Library.
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LIFESTYLES SELF DEVELOPMENT too specific in our goals prevents us from realizing that there may be something even better in store for us than what we have planned for ourselves. At first glance, this might appear to go against everything you have ever learned about goal setting. Many people would tell you to make a list of specific action steps and check completed items off of your list. I have witnessed these types of occurrences in the lives of my coaching clients. Not so long ago, one of my clients accepted what she believed to be her dream job. Unfortunately, the job fell through and she felt devastated. Just a few weeks later, though, an even better position presented itself which she accepted. We often think we know what is best for us but we can’t always see the big picture. I believe we have been created by a benevolent source that I call God but whom other people call the Universe or simply our source. While we may not know the reasons by Sharon Lechner why things don’t always work out as we planned, It is hard to believe that 2012 is already more than our creator does. half over. For me, it has been a great year overall with a few low points including the loss of my mother in March. Every life will have its continual ups and downs, but there are several things we can do to ensure that we are headed in the right direction to bring us the most common things that make us happy, including good health, abundance, spirituality, love and career success. Sometimes being
Want true happiness at home and in your career? Keep your goals general
If you take an example such as wanting to be hired by a specific accounting firm, for a specific position, you are making the realization of your goal dependent on someone else. By setting general overall goals such as happiness, and the other things I listed above, you allow God or the Universe to create wonderful things for you. You may be thinking that this sounds too simple and that is because the missing component is action. In order to get what you really want in life, it is important to continually take action and more specifically action on several fronts without being married to the outcome. If, for example, you wanted to become a writer, you could talk to people who are already successful authors, take a writing course or offer to write a column for your weekly paper. Take action, and have faith that one or a combination of these steps will lead you to become a writer at some level. Once you start taking action steps, God or the Universe will work with you to co-create what will truly bring you happiness. Instead of waving a magic wand, you will start to see new opportunities or have the ability to see things through a new set of eyes. As I mentioned, 2012 is now more than half over. The question is: have you been taking action steps throughout the year so far? If not, it is not too late to start doing so right now. I invite you to make a list of some general outcomes you would like to achieve, and underneath each outcome, write three action steps that you can take that will move you closer to your goal. As always, I would love to hear from you about your successes. Good luck, and may the Universe be with you.
Sharon Lechner is a certified master life coach and owner of Reach for the Stars Empowerment in St. Thomas.
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BUSINESS / COMMUNITY PERSONAL HEALTH
by Kelsey Fess
The mosquito has never been a stranger to making headlines around the world. Long before humans were present, mosquitoes were busy being carriers and transmitters of malaria. Upon human arrival, these pesky insects played the star role in the spread of malaria and the devastation it would bring, particularly throughout Africa. Meanwhile, those of us residing in the Western Hemisphere have only been exposed briefly throughout history to the diseases mosquitoes can transmit. More often than not, we have considered the mosquito to be a great nuisance in our environments: pestering us throughout the spring and summer while we tried to entertain our friends and family in our backyards. We played the role of lucky bystanders from afar, reading about the devastation mosquitoes can cause in the newspaper or by watching a television report. That all changed in August of 1999. Queens, New York, 1999 – two patients were reported to the Department of Health with encephalitis. When the Department of Health investigated further, six patients were identified with encephalitis, five of whom had profound muscle weakness and four that required respiratory support as well. Before and during this outbreak, New York City also observed increased deaths in birds, especially crows. Initially the outbreak was attributed to St. Louis encephalitis, but further testing from humans, birds, and mosquitoes confirmed it to be a West Nile-like virus. The diseasetransmitting mosquitoes had now made their way into the Western Hemisphere (either by infected migratory birds or travel). In 2002, West Nile virus made its debut within the human population in Canada after two people tested pos-
protection. These will deter the mosquito from wanting to feed in the first place. Second, reduce areas of standing water on your property to prevent mosquitoes from having a place to breed. Be proactive in your day to day lives to protect yourself against the bite, no one else can do these things for you; take charge! For more information visit us at elginhealth.on.ca .
Mosquito facts What’s all the buzz about anyway? itive in parts of Quebec and Ontario. Once it had established itself in Ontario that year, it wasn’t long until it became endemic, meaning it was here to stay. Realistically we all know it’s impossible to rid the world of the dreaded mosquito – that’s not to say it hasn’t been tried, but it’s just not possible. So what do we do about it? It starts with having a basic understanding of how the virus gets around. Mosquitoes acquire the virus when they feed on infected birds. Some bird species become infected with the virus but do not develop illness, such as the robin, where other species are more susceptible to the illness, such as crows, blue jays, and ravens. When the mosquito is infected, the virus makes its way to the salivary glands. Once in the salivary glands of the mosquito, the virus can be passed on to humans, animals and other birds
not yet infected when the mosquito takes a blood meal, thereby keeping the cycle of transmission going. Since 2002, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health has not received a report of a locally acquired human case of West Nile virus, and the risk of acquiring the virus here remains low. In order to remain vigilant, however, each mosquito season Public Health sets adult mosquito traps throughout the community to conduct surveillance on the presence of West Nile virus. So far, there have been no reports of positive West Nile virus activity in 2012. What can you do about West Nile virus? Protect yourself and your family. There are many ways this can be done. The first line of defence is to wear protection! Using a mosquito repellent when outdoors, particularly at dusk and dawn, and wearing long sleeves/pants are the best forms of
• Less than 1% of persons infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness • Most healthy individuals infected with West Nile virus develop no symptoms or experience only mild illness • Not all species of mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus (10 out of 74 species in Canada) • Nearly 100% of crows that are infected with West Nile virus die from their infection which is why they provided a good indicator of West Nile virus activity in a community • Risk of West Nile virus infection is highest in August when the species of mosquitoes that feed on both birds and humans are prevalent and amplification of the virus has occurred in the bird and mosquito population
Kelsey Fess is a Public Health Inspector at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health
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BUSINESS / COMMUNITY DOWNTOWN
St. Thomas Downtown Development Board Active with businesses and the community With files from downtownstthomas.com
In July, the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board (DDB) had another successful Art in the Park event. There were ten artists at the event with different mediums from clay, paint and beads to fabric and stamps that they used to create their art. The band Shugg and the Temps performed throughout, and children were encouraged to play along with the band using instruments they made at the free crafts center. The weather was great and everybody had a wonderful time. The next Art in the Park event is on August 11 in Station Parkette from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Iron Horse Festival returns Something for everyone August 23 - 26
DDB accomplishes much In 2011, the St. Thomas DDB was very active. Here is a list of some of the accomplishments of this dedicated group of volunteers • Attended the London Home and Lifestyle Show • Supported Holy Angels Church 100st Anniversary • Attended the Home, Garden and Outdoor Living Show in St. Thomas • Distributed a survey to participants at Home Show to determine what matters in our community • Held Town Hall meeting to discuss concerns for the Downtown and to get initial input into new marketing strategies. • Reviewed previous board's budgets and reallocated financial resources to meet new priorities • New full colour newsletter format • Review of the Downtown Dollars Program • As a result of the financial review, new fiscal policies created to increase accountability • New website has been created and is being developed for content • New directory and database is being created • An email member's directory is also being developed • Participated in the Downtown Spring Clean Up Day • Creation of new banners within the core area • Creation of new Art in the Park program. • Hiring of summer student to maintain cleanliness of our downtown • Created a partnership with CASO • Established constructive communication protocol with Mayor and City Council • Improved public safety through bicycle signage and enforcement • Procured an independent bookkeeper • Installation of Snowflake decorations, new holiday banners, more wreaths, cross street banners, improved tree lighting ceremony • Downtown Window Decorating program • Installation new video monitor at Timken Community Centre • New promotional slide show at the Timken Centre
The Iron Horse Festival is a fourday community festival which celebrates the rich railway heritage and community spirit in this area, and welcomes over 20,000 visitors each year. The Festival showcases a wide range entertainment on three stages, delicious cuisine in two food areas, and crafts artisans from the region demonstrating and selling their work. It’s operated by the Iron Horse Festival of St. Thomas – a registered non-profit organization that has one full-time seasonal employee. The Board of Directors and great volunteers make this Festival a go every year. From August 23 to 26, look for the ever-popular midway, food
vendors and a great line-up for kids. On its stages, the Festival has booked acts such as John & Carol, The Wrecks, The Britts featuring Voodoo Lounge, Traci Kennedy and Friends, Mudmen and Sabbath Only Sabbath/Bonfire and more. The musical lineup reveals roots as varied as country, heavy metal, ballads and Celtic rock. And the street attractions seem almost endless . . . midway rides and games, Fresh Fest, artisans, community groups, games of skill and chance. All with free admission. No wonder they now call it one of southwestern Ontario’s largest street festivals.
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• AUGUST 2012 • July Business After 5
St. Thomas construction rebounds
The folks at Farmgate Markets welcome Chamber members and guests to Business After 5 at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in July. More coverage on page 16. Research by the Conference Board suggests that overall economic growth in our region should rise to an average of 2.4 per cent annually between 2013 and 2016.
Business Beat Table of Contents Market news ........page 10 Census sense ......page 11 Monty & mortgages ............................page 12 Insurance myths ............................page 13 Luncheon returns ............................page 14 Directory data ....page 15 Picture this! ........page 16
Business After 5 Wednesday August 22, 2012 Sponsored & Hosted by: NAPA Autopro & Lyle Cook Automotive 235 Wellington Street, St. Thomas Doors open at 5pm. Sponsor remarks and prize draws start at 6:15pm. Free admission for anyone from a business organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and your favourite beverages. August, 2012
With the values of Building Permits issued by the City of St. Thomas up 16 per cent in the first half of 2012 (as compared to 2011), it’s refreshing to see a local economic indicator that’s positive. The St. Thomas & District Chamber sees the upswing as a very positive indicator, noting the increase originates mostly with commercial, industrial and institutional activity. Building Permit values are recognized as a statistic that is a leading indicator and barometer of economic health and strength. In the first six months of 2012, City Hall issued permits for construction valued at $16.9 million, a 16 per cent increase over the $14.6 million issued for the first half of 2011. Residential construction continues at a steady rate compared to 2011 with permits issued for 55 new dwellings. Fifty-six were issued in the same period last year. The Chamber’s data archives show this level of home building activity, while not insignificant, to be considerably lower than in the record-breaking period 5 years ago. In the
first half of 2007, for example, St. Thomas recorded 216 new dwellings built. Chamber CEO Bob Hammersley thinks the upswing in commercial/industrial building is cause for optimism saying “Business and commercial growth always sets the pace. In the worst of the economic downturn, it dropped to near zero so all signals of renewed investment are extremely positive”. The Chamber also notes the upswing to be in line with a July 4 economic prediction released by the Conference Board of Canada. Their forecast calls for economic growth in the London – St. Thomas region to be among the strongest in Canada, fourth highest of the top 15 markets in Canada, to the end of 2016. The Conference Board’s research says minimal change will take place this year, expecting overall economic growth in our region at just 1.7 per cent for 2012 but rising to an average of 2.4 per cent annually between 2013 to 2016. Manufacturing sector growth is expected at 5.6 per cent on an annual average and housing sector activity expected to climb by 12.2 per cent.
Watch for Our 2nd Anniversary edition Coming out in September To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22) Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org September Edition Advertising Deadline is August 13th
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MARKET NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Have a look and see how your rent stacks up A new study released by one of the world’s largest international realty firms shows commercial rent rates in a trendy section of Toronto to be the most expensive in the country. Local research from the Chamber also shows rents in the London / St. Thomas market running, as we would expect, at much more attractive levels. Colliers International reveals Toronto's Bloor Street remains the most expensive in the nation thanks, in large part, to new leases and expansions by Louis Vuitton, D&G and Tiffany & Co. paying an average lease rate of $310 (US) per square foot. That dollar figure is a 3.3 per cent increase from last year.
From a global perspective, the priciest storefront here is nowhere near the highest levels. Canada ranks 34th on the top 50 in the world. New York’s Fifth Avenue is the priciest with $2,633 US per square foot, up by a whopping 22.5 per cent over last year. Second place goes to a tie between Hong Kong’s Canton Road and Queen’s Road, Central (US$1,831 up 34 per cent and 30 per cent year-over-year), and third to London’s Old Bond Street. (US$1,602 – an increase of 11 per cent this year). Of the Top 10 global retail streets, Zurich and Paris showed no change year-over-year and only two markets showed rent decreases: Milan and Sydney. In Canada, Vancouver’s Robson Street ranked second with $150 US per square foot, although it experienced a 25 per cent decline in average rental rate over the past year. “The lease rates in Canada’s most sought-after retail locations say more about our cities than about the local or global economy,” said James Smerdon, director of retail and strategic planning with Colliers International
1.59% 6.9¢ 1.64%
in a media release. “Canada’s economy weathered the recession much better than other developed countries and our luxury retail sector has never been stronger," he said. Below is the top ten list of Canada's priciest retail strips and the average lease rates per square foot (PSF). 1. Toronto, Bloor Street - $310 2. Vancouver, Robson Street - $150 3. Vancouver, Alberni Street - $105 4. Montreal, Rue de la Montagne $80 5. Halifax, Spring Garden Road - $70 6. Montreal, Greene Avenue - $60 7. Victoria, Government Street - $60 8. Calgary, Uptown 17th Avenue $55 9. Vancouver, West Fourth Avenue $48 10. Ottawa, Byward Market - $45 When it comes to our local market, we don’t have the resources to assemble an all-inclusive study capturing every property but we did have the opportunity to speak at length with a volunteer on the Chamber’s Board who is a specialist in the field of valuations, appraisals and taxation. Paul Smith is the Chamber’s 1st ViceChair and the operator of P. J. Smith & Associates Limited, Appraisers and Property Tax Consultants. Paul tells us the priciest commercial rentals in the region can be found in London. “Wortley Village and Richmond Row are plus/minus $25 per square foot. Wellington Road South attracts rents in the $20 range, and Dundas Street East $10. These rents
Published by Carroll Publishing Inc. and delivered to businesses in St. Thomas and Elgin County For complete information on the St.Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, reach us at: 115-300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4L1 Telephone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 E-Mail: email@example.com Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Accounting Coordinator
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are typically net/net meaning the tenant pays everything to operate and occupy, but not structural issues.” Paul notes those figures are based on standalone properties, such as those typically found in downtown cores. Rents in commercial plazas, malls and any form of “commercial cluster” can be much higher. For example, one major developer in our region prices commercial and office locations at a minimum of $25 per square foot. In St. Thomas, Paul explained that rents are often quoted at monthly rates, instead of by square footage. Doing the math on local downtown prices he calculates rates of $5 to $6 per square foot are common but, as in every other community, there are wide fluctuations that see some properties attracting $12 to over $20 per square foot.
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2012 Board of Directors Chair: Jason White Steelway Building Systems 1st. Vice-Chair: Paul Smith P.J. Smith & Associates 2nd. Vice-Chair: Laura Woermke St. Thomas Elgin Art Centre Treasurer: Mark Lassam, CA Kee, Perry & Lassam Chartered Accountants Past Chair: Linda Sawyer BMO Bank of Montreal Director: Beth Burns K & K Locksmiths Director: Renee Carpenter Jennings Furniture Director: Pete Charlton Charlton’s Quality Meats Director: Monty Fordham Monty Fordham Law Office Director: Jeff Kohler Presstran Industries Director: Rob Mise myFM 94.1 Director: Debra Mountenay Workforce Planning & Development Board Director: John Regan Elgin Business Resource Centre Director: Darren Reith Reith and Associates Insurance & Financial
CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Each year, prior to assembling and printing the Chamber’s annual membership & business directory, our staff review and update statistics and data about our market. This year, thanks to the release of the new 2011 national census, our research shows many changes. The information below is a quick look and the trends, facts and figures that define our area. All information in this report has been assembled using the latest data provided by Statistics Canada in the 2011 census, SCOR (South Central Ontario Region) Economic Development Corporation, and through Chamber tabulations. Look for our complete Community Profile/Market Report as a featured component in our 2012 - 2013 Membership Directory & Buyer’s Guide to be released in September. Overview St. Thomas & District is part of the Great Lakes region, in the centre of Southwestern Ontario. The City of St. Thomas, the Municipality of Central Elgin and the Township of Southwold are home to more than 55,000 people and 1,300 businesses. Our area forms the core of Elgin County (www.elgincounty.ca). Elgin’s total population is over 87,400 people, occupying 35,340 households. On a county-wide basis, agriculture is a major industry and employer. Elgin County has 1,346 farms operating on 146,171 hectares (361,196 acres) of land. Total value of invested farm capital (land, buildings, equipment and livestock) is over $2.4 billion. The largest concentration of commercial/industrial activity is in the St. Thomas area (city and eight adjacent postal rural routes) with over 1,100 businesses of all types and sizes. The Town of Aylmer is second with 350 businesses in and around the community. Average local household spending is $54,845 per year on all goods and services. The county covers 1,880 square kilometers with the shore of Lake Erie as its southern boundary. Over 10 million people reside within 2.5 hours’ driving time in the adjacent communities of southern Ontario and in the neighbouring states of Michigan, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. Our location offers unique advantages to businesses, manufacturers and agriculture with convenient access to Highways 401, 402 and 403 plus all types of transportation services. City of St. Thomas The urban centre of our area is St. Thomas (www.city.st-thomas.on.ca). St. Thomas is well-connected. The city is just south of London and Highway 401. Driving time between the London/St. Thomas city limits is only seven minutes or approximately 25 minutes between the centres of both cities. Five major Canada – U.S. border crossings are within easy reach. The Sarnia, ON/Port Huron, MI border gateway is only 110 km. (68 miles) away to the west. The Detroit/Windsor border point is southwest of our location, 185 km. (114 miles) from us, and the Buffalo/Fort Erie border is 215 km. (133 miles) to our east. In the last national census (2011), population within the city limits was August, 2012
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37,905. Including the immediately adjacent suburban areas, the local population is 41,688. The average age of persons living here is 40.7 years, nearly identical to the national average of 40.6 years. St. Thomas is part of the London Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the 11th largest market in Canada. Total population in the CMA in the census was 496,900. St. Thomas ranks 48th in size among over 450 municipalities in Ontario. District Communities Municipality of Central Elgin (www.centralelgin.org) (2011 census population - 12,743). Central Elgin is most of the area north, south and east of St. Thomas and incorporates the villages of Belmont and Port Stanley plus an area that was known, until 1998, as the Township of Yarmouth. Central Elgin includes a concentrated suburban population adjacent to St. Thomas’ city limits. A strong agricultural industry is present and includes a mix of livestock producers along with growers of beans, corn, wheat, orchard fruits, cash crops, other staples and specialty items. Water sports, commercial and recreational fishing, and tourism are an expanding part of the economic base, especially at Port Stanley, along the Lake Erie shoreline that is the municipality’s southern edge. Township of Southwold (www.twp.southwold.on.ca) (2011 census population – 4,494). Southwold is home to the communities of Shedden and Fingal, as well as a significant population of agricultural and related enterprises. Shedden is a quiet country town with many interesting shops and boutiques. Fingal is home to municipal offices and services. Nearby, for the historically inclined explorer, Southwold 'earthworks' is an ancient settlement where stone axes and other remnants of the Stone Age have been discovered. Similarly, the 'War to Roses Trail’, 21 km. of hiking and walking trails on a former World War II training facility now known as the Fingal Wildlife Management area, offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of our region.
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Profit from apprenticeship The St. Thomas & District Chamber, along with our community partners at Employment Services Elgin, Elgin Business Resource Centre, Fanshawe College and the Workforce Planning & Development Board are pleased to announce we will host Ontario’s Energy Minister and London West MPP Chris Bentley in a special luncheon meeting on Friday September 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Presentations will be made on apprenticeships, and how local employers can benefit from hiring apprentices, with special emphasis on technology and renewable energy.
Tickets are $25 per person, by advance sale only. Our location will be the cafeteria at Fanshawe College’s St. Thomas campus. Seating for this special event is limited to 60 employers. Call the Chamber office to order at 519-631-1981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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LEGAL BUSINESS Legal News and Issues for Business should consult with a qualified mortgage professional. Now for the analysis part. We have been going through, especially in Ontario, an extremely difficult period, with manufacturing plants closing, and more and more young people unemployed. I’ve said it before: people are interested in jobs and personal wellbeing (i.e. satisfying those three basic needs). All the rest is fluff. But governments at all levels just don’t seem to get it. They talk of
Back to the future: The new mortgage rules by Monty Fordham
It is commonly held that there are three basic needs for humans: Food, Shelter and Clothing (although I wonder about that last one for people living at 0 degrees latitude). In any event, for many millennia none of these needs was tied to the existence, or absence, of money. You ate (and wore) what you killed, and you lived in what you built. But over time, in Canada at least, these needs have become less regarded as actual needs and more as discretionary purchases for the average consumer. In such a situation, as humans, we tend to overbuy; and that, apparently, is what we have done. Through all the good times, it seems that easy credit, combined with well paying jobs, has encouraged the average Canadian to amass household debt to a ratio of 152% of gross annual income. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty intends to slow that down. In March of
2011, the rules of mortgage lending were tightened, and on July 9, they were tightened even more. The following are the highlights of the changes and a summary of what the changes will mean for all buyers, young first time buyers and people living debt free in their own homes. The following rules apply only to people who pay less than 20% down on their homes. First: The length of time required to pay the mortgage in full has been reduced from 30 years to 25. What this means to the average homebuyer, is that, on a $200,000 mortgage the monthly payments will increase by approximately the price of a large cup of coffee per day. Increasing the frequency of payments to weekly or bi-weekly shortens that period even more. The savings to the borrower in interest over the life of the mortgage is staggering. The 25 year mortgage was de rigour up until about ten years ago. I, personally, welcome it back.
Second: People applying for mortgages need to put their financial ducks in a row. This part is going to get serious. Mortgage lenders have always required that an applicant have what is called the Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS) below 44%. This meant that the ratio of the total monthly housing costs to the gross annual income of the applicant could not exceed 44%. This has now been reduced to 39%. This will affect, at least for younger buyers, the size of the mortgage for which they qualify. As well, the Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS) cannot exceed 44%. This ratio is the same as the GDS except it includes all household debt payments in the calculation. Young buyers have been coming in under this one for some time, presumably because they haven’t had enough time to rack up other debt. Third: People refinancing their homes in order to realize equity will be restricted to 80% of the value of the home. This is not to be confused with the Home Equity Lines of Credit, which have been reduced by other legislation to 65% of appraised value. People considering buying a home or refinancing their existing home 12
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a housing bubble, when clearly none exists here in Elgin County; they warn against inflation when none exists; and they warn of rising household debt when, clearly, in many cases, the reason for such debt is a disruption of employment. One hopes that the measures introduced earlier this month do not further slow down economic growth in Southern Ontario, by discouraging potential buyers of homes. In practical terms, they should not. In reality though, people tend to shy away from the things they do not understand. The result would be a drop in the value of existing homes and the reduction of construction of new homes (with the resulting layoffs). Conclusion: Right move Jim; just the wrong time.
Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his Law Office, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: email@example.com August, 2012
PRO TEXT Business Management News & Issues
Insurance and urban myths by Dan Reith
When it comes to making significant buying decisions regarding insurance products and services, 63 per cent of Canadians do not ask their insurance provider for advice, instead asking their friends, family or colleagues for advice; 25 per cent rely on searching the Internet and 4 per cent simply “go with their gut”. When consumers rely on uneducated sources they will encounter problems and a lack of coverage. A licensed insurance provider is best able to clarify mistruths and ensure you understand your coverage to avoid you costly headaches in the event that something unexpected does happen. After all, that is what insurance is for: protecting you from the unexpected. Here are some samples of the “Insurance Urban Myths” unearthed in the survey: Myth: Red cars are more expensive to insure. Many Canadians believe auto insurance premiums are more expensive for red (29 per cent) and two-door (54 per cent) cars. And almost half (48 per cent) think that if you’re in an auto accident your insurance rates won’t go
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up if you don’t file a claim. None of these statements are true. Most consumers may not know it, but the insurance industry is colourblind. It doesn’t matter if your car is blue, red, striped or checked. Your insurance rate for the make, model, and age of the vehicle will be the same. There are many factors that make up the formula for calculating auto insurance premiums. For example, a mom who lives in the city centre and drives to work each day may actually be more expensive to insure than a 28year-old man who lives in a suburb and catches the bus to work. Myth: If you file a claim through home insurance for stolen or damaged items due to fire or water damage, you will be reimbursed for replacing the items in your home at today’s prices. A standard home policy only covers you for the value of your contents, less depreciation. For example, if you purchased a television five years ago for $500, you might only get $100 for it if it were destroyed in a fire even if it costs $600 to replace that same TV today. If you want a higher form of protection you need to purchase replacement cost coverage for your contents. This will ensure the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them today. Myth: You only need travel insurance if you’re vacationing outside Canada. Getting sick or injured while on vacation can be very costly. Provincial medical coverage won’t provide comprehensive coverage if you’re outside of your home province so it’s important that you ensure you are covered, even when travelling domestically. With international travel, many Canadians don’t realize that the aver-
age out-of-country in-hospital bill can cost up to $10,000 per day and the average emergency room visit is $1,000. Top features in travel insurance policies include 24/7 assistance, more than $1 million of emergency medical coverage and expense coverage if you need to be flown home for medical care. One special note for people insured under the national Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Program: Out-of-country and out-ofprovince travel coverage is already included in your plan! A call to the national client service centre at 1-877277-0677 will confirm details for you. Now for some true or false questions, such as: Getting a parking ticket means your insurance rates will go up. False: Parking tickets do not count against your driving record or your insurance. Installing a home security system can reduce your home insurance premiums. True: Believe it or not some upgrades to your home, like taking extra security measures, can actually decrease your premiums. That being said, the alarm system must be moni-
116 Edward St., St.Thomas August, 2012
Shawn Longworth Jamie McGibbon Gerry Oleksiuk
This column appears regularly in Business Beat and has been submitted by Dan Reith, BA(Hons) CAIB, Principal Broker, Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited. Questions and comments on this column are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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tored by a ULC rated monitoring station and in some instances line protection is required to get the discount. If you’re in a car accident but don’t file a claim, your insurance premiums won’t go up. False: If your insurance company finds out you were in an accident, they can raise your rates whether you made a claim or not. You may not have told your insurance provider about the accident, but the other person in the collision may be filing a claim and their insurer will report to yours. You may be liable if a contractor is injured while working on your property. True: It is your responsibility to ensure that workers on your property are protected and safe from bodily injury. If they aren’t, you may be held liable and have to deal with a very costly settlement. It is therefore in your best interests to obtain written proof that all trades who attend your property are covered by WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) protection. This article is based on an Environics Research Group custom online survey of 1,000 Canadian adults. Results were collected in March 2011. The moral of this story, stop listening to untrained friends or family and seek the advice of an insurance professional.
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CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
MP & MPP Luncheon August 14
There’s not much time left to book tickets for the Chamber’s special luncheon event with Member of Parliament Joe Preston and Member of Provincial Parliament Jeff Yurek. Our event takes place Thursday August 14 at St. Anne’s Centre. Doors open and lunch will be
served at 11:30 a.m., then Joe & Jeff take the floor at 12 Noon. The agenda will include remarks from each speaker, an opportunity for joint dialog to address their shared issues and concerns, and questions from the floor from our Members. The program will conclude by 1:30 p.m. Members are welcome to submit questions via email in advance of the event. Chamber President & CEO Bob Hammersley will act as moderator during the luncheon and welcomes advance questions directly at: email@example.com Tickets for the luncheon are $25 per person, and available from the Chamber office by advance sale only. Call us at 519-631-1981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Special thanks to our event sponsors: Phil Mauer & Associates Inc. and Dowler-Karn Fuels Ltd.
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Acquisition Elgin to be for Steelway featured
Steelway Building Systems has made a new investment, acquiring a Stoney Creek-based firm, Zelus Material Handling. The Chamber congratulates everyone at Steelway and the White family on the good news. Steelway issued the following information on July 3: “The Steelway family has grown! We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Zelus Material Handling. Zelus is a crane manufacturing and service company that employs over fifty staff between two locations. Head office and manufacturing is located in Stoney Creek with a service office and shop in London. Their product and service offerings compliment our Steelway Material Handling (SMH) division perfectly. We have acquired a great company that we feel our skills and resources will only make better. Zelus brings to us a well respected crane service division that our Steelway Material Handling customers have been demanding. We have proven ourselves as manufacturers, and now we can offer the required support needed to provide our customers confidence that their cranes can be serviced quickly and professionally. Welcome to the family Zelus!”
Great Planning! We don’t know if there’s a statistical norm for this but we found an interesting tidbit of market news while assembling the feature story on our first page about local construction activity. In the month of June, almost 1 of every 5 building permits issued by City Hall was for a new swimming pool. Congratulations to all involved on the perfect timing!
diSTRICTLY Success! Our first-ever multi-Chamber trade show and networking event, “diSTRICTLY Business”, met or exceeded all of our targets, and we’re very happy about that! The Chamber extends sincere thanks to our participating Members and our neighbours and partners at Western Fair District along with the staff and volunteers from the Chamber offices in Ingersoll, Tillsonburg, Strathroy and London. By continuing to work with our neighbours and partners, we know we can bring our Members increased opportunities for business growth. Look for news on similar opportunities in the year ahead.
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• Civil Litigation • Employment Law • Debt Collection • Personal Injury
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3-9 Princess Ave., St.Thomas, ON N5R 3V3
750 Talbot Street, Suite 211 St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 1E2 t 519-633-8838 • f 519-633-9361
As part of a series called Canadian Business in Action, Elgin County will be featured in the next issue of The Canadian Business Journal. CBJ is a digital business publication and a media partner of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Each issue is sent to 40,000 senior executives at medium to large companies across Canada. The Elgin feature will span 6 to 8 pages. You can view the latest issue online at www.cbj.ca
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The Mortgage Group™
Tony Milles, AMP Mortgage Broker
CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Community & Social Services data ready
contact personnel, and descriptions provided to us by the organizations named. Postage/courier/handling charges are extra if required. Payment may be made by credit card, cash or known cheque at the time of ordering. To obtain a copy or for more details, call the Chamber office at 519-6311981 or email us at: email@example.com
The latest business census data confirms there are over 1,100 businesses in and around St. Thomas but many people are often surprised to learn that there are about half as many community and social services that do everything from offering sports programs to providing specialized medical or care functions. As we do each August, the Chamber is releasing the next edition of our annual Community & Social Services Directory. Our latest publication carries data on 534 charities, non-profits, agencies, associations and services that exist in, or are mandated to serve, St. Thomas & District. Listings are diverse and range from service clubs and sports organizations to government agencies. Businesses and organizations that are Members of the Chamber will receive a summary version of our new C&SS data as a section within our new Membership Directory and Buyer’s Guide to be released in September. The full version of the complete Community & Social Services data is published by the Chamber as a stand-alone directory. Information contained in the C&SS Directory goes beyond the summary form we provide to all Members in our annual business directory, and offers details on programs, products or services offered by each listed agency. Past experience has shown this publication as a valuable resource for businesses that supply and service the not-for-profit sector, and for other community groups that need a reference point on the wide and varied array of programs and activities available in the local region. The C&SS Directory is available for sale now, only from the Chamber office. It is sold only in print form with a nominal fee of $35 per copy charged to offset costs. The new 2012 – 2013 version contains approximately 185 pages of information listing address and contact data including websites, key
National Convention in Hamilton Hundreds of Chamber staff and volunteers from across Canada will gather in Hamilton next month for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’ national convention and annual general meeting (AGM). The annual Canadian Chamber gathering runs Saturday September 22 through Monday September 24. Immediately preceding the convention, the national Chamber staff association, CCEC, shares the gathering opportunity with programs and events on September 21 and 22. The Canadian Chamber’s AGM is the chamber network’s must-at-
tend event of the year. It is where the network comes together to develop solutions that will break down the barriers that are holding Canadian businesses back. This year’s AGM will focus particularly on tackling Canada’s skills crisis, the barrier our chamber network told us was the number one impediment to the success of our Members. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from business, government and academia on the best practices, programs and services that are available to help business find and keep skilled employees.
Quantum RBS, the Leader in Data Back-Up and Recovery Quantum RBS is 100% Canadian owned & operated by Kim Marcotte right here in St Thomas. She and her team provides reliable, secure, guaranteed accessibility to your most valued business assets. Protecting business digital assets since 2005, they are one of the most dependable and reliable low-cost solutions of its class, anywhere in Canada. At Quantum RBS, they man- most! their service’s graphically-user age all the licensing so you They actively monitor client’s friendly interface. don't have to. No annual li- back-up to ensure reliable in- While there is no capital excensing, renewals or upgrade tegrity and will actually con- pense outlay required to use fees ever. You pay only for tact you, when they see failing their reliable business continuwhat you use! They manage backup sets or learn that your ity, they often exceed client exand maintain the secure data setup requires some attention. pectations. Quantum RBS center services. Kim also em- Towards their high-integrity greatly values the opportunities ploys a certified only technical Client-Focus, Quantum RBS and will invest their time at no support team, with available works diligently with their cost, to ensure your 100% 24/7 emergency response, they Clients & Partners to train client service satisfaction. are there when you need them and provide an overview of
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CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members
Fun in the sun Our July BA5 was a big hit
Our July 11 Business After 5 event at Quai du Vin Estate Winery was definitely an enjoyable outdoor experience with live music, exceptional local food presentations by several suppliers and, of course, popular local wines and beers. Special thanks to Roberto Quai and the winery staff for providing the opportunity and to one of our newest Members, Aurora Rodriguez of A+ Display, for her work in adding on-site displays & décor that really boosted the visual appeal of the site. See www.aplus-display.com Big thanks, too, to Mark Girdauskas of Photos by MG for providing these great shots.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIRECTORY Save 3.5¢/litre Chamber members qualify for Esso’s Direct Billing Program; you pay 3.5¢ off the posted retail pump price whenever you fuel up. You may also get a convenient, detailed monthly invoice and also qualify for Speedpass®. For an application, contact:
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160 Burwell Rd., St.Thomas 519-631-5502 E L G I N
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Running A Successful Small Business P
Opportunity will knock It’s important for business owners to be listening by Terry Carroll
A man with the start of a plan asked me if I would meet with him to discuss a new business idea he had. When we met over coffee, he told me he was a little worried that if he didn’t change from his current field, he might burn out sometime soon. He had been playing with this new business idea for over three years. While he had little direct experience in the field, his idea struck him as a perfect fit for some of his interests and talents. He was thinking that, since the idea didn’t seem to be going away, he should do something about it. Soon. Much of my part of the conversation may have sounded a little negative to him, but really, I was trying to be realistic. I know it’s important for entrepreneurs to love the businesses they’re in, and for their businesses to be a fit for at least some of their talents. Without that love and that fit,
serendipitous, sometimes unpredictable part of running a successful small business. Is what just showed up an opportunity? Or is it a lovely concept that may or may not pan out in the real world? Recognizing an opportunity, where the risks may be worth the potential rewards, requires some judgment, common sense and discussion. Last month in this magazine, we featured Glenn and Sherry Forrester. Over about three and a half years, they bought Pets 4 Life, a manufacturer of raw, frozen, holistic pet food. They moved the business from Owen
Sound to larger premises in St. Thomas, purchased another business called The Ultimate Diet and added organic pet foods, changed the portions and packaging of their products, arranged a distribution and refrigeration deal with an excellent distributor, and now have a start in western Canada. Some of these changes were deliberate and planned. Others seemed to show up, and they accepted them as opportunities. If the core business is sound, the people involved are committed and the business does a certain amount of marketing, opportunities will present
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themselves. I say this because the Forresters’ story is typical of the growth of many successful small businesses, including the Vanderkooys’ story on this month’s magazine cover. The scale is different, but the story of business expansion is similar. It can be good to toss fears and uncertainties aside. Embrace the idea of serendipity and opportunity, along with the work and the worry that go with any business. A new direction may reconnect you with what you love, and it may turn out to be a lot of fun.
300 S. Edgeware Road St Thomas Ont 519-633-7597 www.elgincfdc.ca
Helping You Succeed in Small Business We are dedicated to helping Small Business Owners like You succeed in today’s ever-changing business market. The Small Business Enterprise Centre has the expertise to help guide your business ideas forward through Free business counselling services and low-cost workshops and seminars.
love is love, and the wolf is never far from the door
they will never find the grit to survive (and later thrive), given the number of things that get thrown at them. In running a successful small business, in the day-to-day thick of it, entrepreneurs often lose sight of the original love they had. But love is love, and the wolf is never far from the door. In addition to love, business owners require four main things to succeed. They need sales, and, in the beginning, some kind of realistic projection of what those sales will be. They need to be able to pay the bills, and, ideally, the ability to adjust some of their costs, based on how sales are going. They need marketing so both existing and potential clients keep them somewhere near “top of mind.” And, particularly during the first three to five years, they need enough cash or sources of credit to keep their businesses alive. There’s a fifth item that I would add to the list. They need to be open to opportunities. This is a somewhat
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Contact Ronda Stewart 519-633-7597 ext 330 email at email@example.com
Check out what’s NEW at Elgin Business Resource Centre
Join Like Minded Individuals “Peer to Peer Mentoring” helps businesses in all different stages of development SHARE LEARN CONNECT Everyone Welcome Facilitator: Kevin Jackson Business Counsellor EBRC RSVP Tara @ 519.633.7597 x 336 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Call Now! Annual Membership for only $50.
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Running A Successful Small Business M
A R K E T I N G
What do your customers REALLY want?
by Allan Weatherall
Michael Gerber (author of “The EMyth” and numerous other business classics) says: “There is only one justifiable reason for creating a company; to serve someone else’s desire better than anyone else has ever done.” Here’s one scenario that follows this idea. It’s a code red for the parents of small children everywhere . . . tears flow after a scoop of melting ice cream falls off its cone and onto the hot pavement. But Walt Disney Co. has perfected the solution, which it teaches all theme-park staff, from janitors to senior managers, on their first day of training to do . . . drop whatever you’re doing, run over, find out the flavour the child had, run to the front of the line, put fresh ice cream in a bowl and stick a cone on top along with two cookies that look like Mickey Mouse’s ears. In minutes, a tantrum turns into a story the child’s parents will tell everyone they know. Disney calls these “magical moments.” To have a successful business you’ve got to have lots of customers and many happy customers and “magical moments” will help big time! Pleased customers will gladly send you referrals, come back time and time again and become the lifeblood of your business.
I like Michael Gerber’s use of the word ‘desire’ at the beginning of my article. Desire is defined as “a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment.” When you approach your business as serving someone else’s desire rather than selling what you have to offer, the tables are turned and pointed in the right direction. To zero in upon your customer’s desires, take a few moments and consider: 1. What satisfaction will my customer(s) have from using my service or product? 2. What enjoyment will it bring to them? 3. What dissatisfaction have they felt with others who provide the same type of products and services? 4. What frustrations are they experiencing that my product or service can answer? 5. How can I be the individual who can serve them better than anyone else? If you are in business and have studied marketing, client acquisition or worked with business coaches, I’m sure you’ve been directed to focus on the benefits rather than simply the features to engage and attract customers. The above questions will help you get to the basics and really identify your customer’s desires and ultimately serve them better than any one else has done! Promoting your product or service,
if done correctly, not only convinces customers that your product or service is preferable to your competitor’s, but that it is clearly the only and best choice. This is the field of marketing ‘communications’ and of all the marketing components, it is the one most likely to be outsourced and the one most likely to be neglected if a company is making a profit. Lastly, marketing is how you treat others. It's as important to be as polite to the receptionists of companies you deal with as you are with its owners or principals. Marketing is also about being on time, keeping your promises and thanking others for helping you. There is no Aladdin’s Lamp available to magically create a marketing plan but lots of examples that you can take and create one that works
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for you and your company. Marketing involves taking something simple and obvious and packaging it to go. Think about your own magical moments and then start managing them on a daily basis. After all, marketing is everything you do. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney
Allan Weatherall has APR accreditation from the Canadian Public Relations Society and is a Certified Fundraising Executive.
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The truth about successful business Some important questions about integrity by Shane Wyler
Running a successful business requires a team of leaders. To start, let's explore what a leader is. A leader is simply an example for others to follow. Take five to seven minutes and explore the following question. Write down your answer so that you have something to come back to as we continue with our conversation. As a leader, what example are you setting and asking others to follow? Your answers here are key in being able to develop the successful business you and your clients need. Let's explore the key element necessary to running a successful business and developing your team of leaders. The key element to any great leader and team is integrity. What is integrity? My dictionary app defines integrity as: 1. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness 2. The state of being whole and undivided a. the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction b. internal consistency or lack of corruption. This definition takes it origins from Middle English and extends from the Latin word integritās, meaning "intact". To run your business successfully and keep it "intact", you need integrity. Where do you, your organization and teams need integrity? Take five to ten minutes to explore this. Be sure you write down your answers as you will need these as we move forward. Looking at those areas you listed, let's measure them against two things and answer our third question: How do you gain integrity? You gain integrity by: 1. Giving your word 2. Keeping your word So to gain integrity in the areas where you need it, what do you give your word to? In order to achieve integrity, simply give your word to serving the need you hear in others in all you do. From here, where do you give your August, 2012
word? To answer this, let’s explore what an opportunity is as we define it here at Seven. An opportunity is anywhere you are needed and wanted. Both must be present for an opportunity to exist. Many of us are where we are needed but not wanted. Likewise, we are where we are wanted but not needed. The challenge is to be where you are needed and wanted at all times. Give your word where you are needed and wanted. Once you have defined where you are needed and wanted, and given your word to serve that need, how do you keep your word there? This is
our seventh question. How do you keep your word? First, you must be engaged where you are needed and wanted. Second, you must have the tools necessary to fulfill on the word you gave. This is where many of us fail. We over promise and under deliver. Or we under promise and over deliver. The principal here is to satisfy the thirst of those you serve, completely as needed. Wherever integrity exists, trust abounds. Whatever you give your word to, it must equal the solution you deliver. This requires you and your clients to give and keep the word you
give. For example, if your clients are not able to keep their word and pay you for your work, your successful business will quickly fail. Likewise, if you promise a level of workmanship and do not acquire or develop the tools needed to deliver, your successful business will, again, fail. Know what and where to give your word and have the tools necessary to empower your team to keep their word. That team consists of you, your staff and your clients all giving and keeping their word, leading each other, resulting in success. This is what leaders do. Be an example and lead with integrity.
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A commitment to
Excellence Succeeding as an entrepreneur in today’s world by Susan Brady
Being an entrepreneur or small business owner today is all about choices. We are where we are because of the choices we have made, or the choices we have allowed others to make on our behalf. Excellence is a choice. It is never an accident. To stand in your own personal power, a business owner needs to make the choice to commit to excellence to reach any level of success.
Excellence is exceeding the expectations of others, however we may serve. It is reaching for the best solutions, providing the best products, collaborating with others committed to excellence, yielding the highest potential result, not only in our area of expertise, but in our relationships and in how we live our lives. No matter where you begin to practice excellence, it absolutely carries over and im-
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proves all aspects of your life. One of the first steps to commit to excellence is for us to take 100 per cent personal responsibility for our life. That includes all decisions – the good and the poor. Success requires our taking personal responsibility for where we are right now in our business and in our personal life. We cannot change the past; we only have control over what we do starting today, in these few moments traded to read this article. Commitment to excellence is a decision. There is no power or benefit in blaming others for why success has eluded us or we haven't gotten that “break.” Bottom line – it is up to us. We must stop and think about the conversations we are currently having about our business. Are we excited about where we are going? Or, are we too busy reflecting and reliving the past and telling that same old story to anyone who would listen. We quickly move toward excellence when we own our power, take complete responsibility for our choices, and have taken on learning the lessons. Sometimes it takes us learning the lessons more than once to really “get” the message. Are you stuck trying to make sure everything is perfect before you move forward or take the next step to building your business? If yes, this will hold business back in and any quest in committing to excellence. When I speak of excellence, I am not speaking of perfectionism. continued on next page
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A commitment to So many hold themselves back because things are not “perfect.” They spend lots of time waiting for all the lights to turn green before taking their foot off the break and stepping on the gas. Perhaps this is you. It is not possible to live a life of excellence with one foot on the gas and the other foot on the break. I recall a lesson from a former coach of mine who emphasized "you just need to get it done, and then get it right." Excellence cannot grow without action. Are we allowing tolerations – or putting up with things – that we know hold us back from moving our business forward? Tolerations are a part of life that we have come to accept as normal, and in some cases, they are normal. We do, however, still have a choice. We sometimes allow (and often realize later we’ve done this) other people to drag us down and put up with unpleasant situations and behavior. Perhaps it is unfinished tasks or tolerating unacceptable service that does not meet our needs. In fact, it could even be our own behavior that we are tolerating, such as lack of energy, not exercising enough, improper diet, and the list goes on. These things we tolerate drain us and often we don't even realize it. They suck the energy out of us on a daily basis, and take us away from focusing on what is important. The more tolerations we accept in our life, the more we are saying yes to a life of mediocrity, rather than yes to a life of excellence. Decide today to eliminate tolerations.
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am I waiting for everything to be perfect?
To commit to a life of excellence we must surround ourselves with excellence. Highly successful, extraordinary individuals, surround themselves with people who lift them up, encourage them, and also challenge them in an honest and open manner. Being selective about the people with whom you associate is critical to running a business and living a life based in excellence. I encourage you to download my free recording from my website “5 Reasons to Makeover Your Mediocre Network, To Transform Your Business And Your Net Worth!” If, then, you choose to be highly successful, associate with highly successful positive people, who share your entrepreneurial spirit and have
the same energy around living and committing to a life of excellence, it is important to consider investing in an excellent coach. I do this and encourage my clients to do the same. It is the linchpin of my own successes. First, focus on your business, the service you provide, and why doing business with you is the way to go. Then surround yourself with a team of excellence to support you in your vision in bringing that vision to the world. Finally, giving up on the need to be right, and then committing to lifelong learning, will catapult your business (and personal) results in very short order. If you choose to be open to growing, you are also open to listening. So often people with
A B O U N D that need to be right, close themselves to listening and more importantly, learning. This limits personal and business growth. Being open to learning something new every day, and learning from every experience with an intention of excellence, creates an extraordinary life. Many people have not taken the time to learn anything new since they left school. If you want to commit to a life of excellence and enjoy the rewards that come from living a life of excellence, in both your life and in your business, commit to life-long learning. One of my dear friends and mentors, Bob Proctor, says it so well, "The day you stop learning is the day you stop living." Make a decision today to look at how you are showing up in your life. Ask yourself the following six questions: • Am I taking 100% personal responsibility for where I am today? • Am I waiting for everything to be perfect before taking the necessary action? • What am I tolerating in my life and in my business? • Who am I surrounding myself with? • Do I have a need to always be right? • What am I doing today to invest in my own learning? Remember, life is all about choices. We can accept a life of mediocrity or decide to commit to excellence. The choice is ours.
Susan Brady is the owner of Susan Brady International, Success and Business Coaching for Women Entrepreneurs, www.Susan-Brady.com
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Working too much and making too little? Time to face facts by Bryan Vine
It is time to face reality! You and your business have some problems that require some solutions. Very simply, you can’t change what you do not openly acknowledge. Identifying and admitting a problem goes a long way towards solving it. To begin the transformation and healing process, you need to do some serious reflection. Be brutally honest when you answer these questions: • Do I often question, “Why do I have to do every darn thing myself ”? • Am I still working too much and making too little? • Am I trapped working “in” my business instead of “on” my business? • Do I ever wonder if business ownership is truly worth the time, effort,
headaches, hassles, and sacrifices? • Do I feel trapped on a treadmill, moving faster and faster, but going nowhere? • Do I constantly face frequent interruptions and repetitive questions from my staff? • Do I go home many nights feeling mentally and physically drained? • Do I confuse busyness with accomplishment? • Do I dread the drudgery of facing and solving the same issues and problems each and every day – the burden of re-creating the wheel time and time again? • Do I daydream about regaining my sense of freedom, joy, passion and peace-of-mind? • Do I have anxiety about drowning in projects, problems, deadlines, crises, meetings, employee issues, unanswered voicemails/emails, customer complaints, administrative trivia, and on and on? • Do I feel like a master juggler with too many balls up in the air and dreading they will soon begin hitting the floor? • Am I forever chained to a phone, computer, email, or pager?
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• Am I tired of having customers rely on me personally for services, solutions and satisfaction? • Am I fed up with missing family time, family events, and making other personal sacrifices on a semiregular basis? • Do I crave more free time to do the things that matter most to me? Admit to the problem If you answered yes to most of these questions, don’t feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. You are not alone. Most owners have never learned to be strategic. Role models are scarce. As such, dysfunctional businesses and owners are the rule, not the exception. Like you, most owners feel that they have been sentenced to a life of servitude and some even suffer from the blues. Unfortunately, because of pride, shame or ignorance, this sad condition has been kept hidden in the corner office for too long. Starting now, you should not have to endure this much discomfort and frustration associated with your business. You do not have to live this way! You should not be consumed by your business and frustrated with your life. Stop and think why in the world, as the owner, should you have to touch every transaction, be involved with every decision, and help solve every problem, or handle everybody’s job in some fashion? You shouldn’t! It doesn’t make sense. Something is broken! You cannot succeed alone. You don’t have enough hours in a day or enough energy or bandwidth to go it alone. Pain is a good indication that something is wrong and needs to be healed! Realize that you aren’t the only one suffering. Think about how your stress and blues are negatively impacting your employees, customers,
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vendors/suppliers, friends and if applicable, your spouse and kids. Hear this wake-up call! It is time to shift radically your business beliefs and behavior. It is time to expand your view of new possibilities for managing your business and life. The better your business functions, the better your life will function. You deserve to be free from the daily grind; after all, you own a business, not a job. You should actually enjoy the journey of developing and running a business and not defer your personal life and happiness until you retire or sell. Live life now! Do not get so caught up in making a living that you forget to make a life. If your personal life is suffering because of your company, either your leadership approach is misguided or your business design is broken, maybe both! At this point, simply admit that your business centers on you and is totally dependent upon you. Admit that you are buried up to your eyeballs in details of the business. Admit that you are a slave to your business. Admit that instead of your business giving you greater life, it continues to drain more of your personal time and peace-of-mind. Admit that while your headaches and hassles grow, your freedom shrinks.
Bryan Vine is co-owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas.
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Business financial plans Baby steps are a great way to start by Stephanie Farrow
You work in your business every day. Have you taken time lately to work on your business? If you own a successful small business you likely put your customers first, service and client satisfaction are high on your priority list, and you spend most of your time working to earn and keep your good reputation. There aren’t quite enough hours in the day, and you have ideas and plans in your head just waiting to be put into action. One of the things on your ‘to-do’ list is to update or create your business and financial plans. You’re going to get to it – really – you just have to get through a few other pressing items on your list first. Sound familiar? I’m with you. It’s interesting to note that in theory most business owners agree that a good business plan and financial plan are important for long term success running their business. The recent “2011 Manulife Financial Small Business Research Report” revealed that a surprising number of small business owners either don’t have a plan at all or keep it locked
away in their heads. Susan Cranston, AVP for Manulife Small Business Marketing states, “When asked, ‘Do you have a written business plan?’ 26 per cent of the owners/managers said that they definitely have a plan. Thirty-four per cent ‘kind-of ’ have a plan and 40 per cent admit to not having a business plan of any kind. This means almost three-quarters of Canadian small businesses are operating without a formal plan or get by with a loosely crafted plan at best.” Our intentions are good but we struggle to find the time. Years ago, I found a saying that really spoke to me, and I put it on my fridge. It says, “Do I own the business, or does the business own me?” It’s a reminder to remain strong at the helm of your business and not be a slave to it. It’s important to take the time to step off the gerbil wheel of daily operations to sit in your manager’s chair with your strategic planning hat on. We could list the benefits of a good business financial plan (cash management, long term planning, spotting trends, effective forecasting, prioritizing expenditures, understanding profit margins and financial ratios), but chances are you know ‘why’ planning is a good idea, you’re just struggling with the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ to find time. Consider this: start with baby steps. Creating a full plan is ideal; however, part of a business financial plan is better than none at all. If the idea of creating a full plan is daunting and stopping you from proceeding then
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just take one step at a time. There are mountains of business and financial planning data available on the Internet that you can follow for a template. Start with one or two key financial measures that are important to your business that you know you should track and monitor and start tracking them – weekly, monthly, quarterly – whatever timeframe is most appropriate for that measurement and your type of business. You don’t need anything fancy, just start tracking. You can use Excel, a word document, or just scratch on a piece of paper if that’s more your style. Whatever method gives you the greatest chance of success to continue tracking. Within weeks you will find it is just a regular part of your routine. This is when you add on another measure to track. Once you get a few under your belt and you see how easy it is,
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you will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. Keep adding measures you wish to track, and give yourself a deadline to pull everything together into a formal plan. You really should know your business financial numbers inside and out, so go ahead and take one small step as a catalyst to creating your full plan. Building your plan one step at a time is better than not building it at all.
Stephanie Farrow, B.A., CFP, is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc. in Belmont.
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Growth Coach to provide coffee and treats, R.S.V.P. to either Bryan or Gordon Dates and Topics:
August 15 – Five Winning Ways to Improve Your Customer’s Experience Sept 12 – Work, Life and Balance October 10 – Employee Appreciation November 14 – Managing Change in Your Business December 5 – Marketing 101
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Adventures in British Columbia Reflections on what makes a great experience
by Jamie Quai
At the end of June, my wife and I had occasion to visit British Columbia. An old friend from high school was getting married in Kelowna, and we decided that we should make a week’s vacation out of it. Kelowna is centre / north of a large wine growing region in BC called the Okanagan Valley. I highly recommend a visit to those of you who have never been. The scenery is breathtaking, the people are friendly, and the adventures are memorable. We visited almost a dozen wineries, and I left BC reflecting on the whole visit, more specifically, how visiting each stop on our wine tour enhanced my opinion of brand BC Wine. And as anyone who thrives on local food and wine will tell you, experience is everything! There were four things that really made brand BC Wine exemplary for me: The prices were not prohibitive, the wines had a stylistic consistency to them, the people were terrific, and everyone was proud of the local bounties. Prices in BC are overall rather expensive when compared to the rest of Canada. That goes for most goods, but one trend I noticed, and subsequently
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had pointed out to me at more than a few wineries, was that the average cost of a bottle of wine was dropping. Wineries had realized that they had been pricing themselves out of their market and made value a priority. The cost of a bottle of BC wine made me feel good for buying Canadian, and somewhat refreshingly, good for not feeling like I’m getting that “popular-tourist area” markup. One of the marks of a gastronomic region that is coming into its own is a style in the foods and wines it produces that are recognizable. I have been to BC twice previously, and this is the first time I could say that clearly defining the BC wine style is possible. The wines were clearly free of fault or defect; they were approachable, pleasant and had a comforting sameness to them. I put my observation to a few winemaker friends of mine while touring, and they all commented that the local industry puts a huge premium on sharing ideas and innovation. One winery’s success is adopted and becomes a standard that raises the bar on quality for everyone. Local wineries support local barrel makers, and they in turn fine-tune their craft every year to make a better barrel for BC wine. A region that works collectively grows collectively. We ate at local restaurants, savoured local wines, talked to local people and never once were talked down to. We were welcomed everywhere we went. We walked into a winery one morning. No one else was around, and the owner was the only one behind the bar. He and I talked for over an hour about grape growing, I tried everything in the store and then he invited me into the cellar. We talked winemaking as we tasted almost every distinct barrel he had. He could have politely pushed us out and made a decent dollar, but he took pride in his wine and wanted to share his passion. This wasn’t a unique experience at all. The brand ambassadors of BC Wine were amazing people who cared about their land, their product, their food, their wines, and most importantly their neighbours. The whole adventure in BC reinforced my opinion of the experiences that we offer here in Elgin County. Jamie Quai is All of the things that made the BC head winemaker at wine experience so great are found Quai du Vin Estate right in our own backyard. We have Winery in Elgin affordable adventures, beautiful County. scenery and wonderful people that are truly proud of all that we have to offer. Cheers!
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A classic, stylish storage solution
by Renée Carpenter
t’s all about the furniture, really. From storage to sitting to sleeping, furniture is the workhorse of any room. To maximize how you use furniture, consider pieces that multitask and plan the right arrangement for your space. The following will provide some tips and ideas using a simple piece of furniture – an armoire – while bringing a stylish focal point to any room. Entertainment storage for wine glasses, serving trays, and drink accessories is a must, but it often runs in short supply. A sturdy armoire, with a few customizations, is a great place to keep delicate items safe and easily accessible. Take advantage of unused space by suspending wine glasses from the underside of the top shelf. This trick can be used in any cabinet/storage situation. An entire home office /work station can be contained inside an armoire with a few clutter-concealing solutions. An upper shelf corrals reference books and magazine holders. Essential supplies such as pencils, scissors, and notepads have a place on the desktop, too, all kept in order with desk organizers. No more searching around the house for your favourite movies and magazines. An armoire can house laAugust, 2012
beled boxes to contain entertainment essentials. Using coordinating baskets is a stylish and strategic way to keep games, CDs and DVDs organized. Mount a small box to the inside of the armoire door to store multiple remotes. This box keeps remotes in an easy to reach location while still inside the entertainment armoire. Create a storage extension anywhere in your home with an armoire to hold often-used items such as detergent and cleaning supplies. A small rod on one side provides enough space for several cloting items to dry, and extra shelves are perfect for keeping supplies tidy. Create an instant message center on an inner door panel with simple bulletin board to post cleaning tips, chore lists, etc. Group baking supplies by use. Keep large or frequently used items, such as bowls and mixer on lower shelves so they are easy to reach. Store essential ingredients in clear cannisters. These can sit along higher shelves, along with baking goods, recipe books, or the extra china. Armoires make great craft closets. Peg-board the back inside inner wall of the widest shelf area to hang glue guns, scizzors, rulers, tape rolls, and more. Attach magnetic boards to the insde of the doors. Tall rolls of wrapping paper, boxes and other necessities can be neatly stored away. Scrapbooking storage centers are also greatly organized with armoire space. Or for knitters… Turn an armoire into a designated play space to keep kids’ crafts and toys in one main location. Low drawers and bin-lined shelves store toys at kid-level, while the top shelf is reserved for board games. A builtin destop provides plenty of creative space for projects or homework. Chalkboards and bulletin boards inside the doors are perfect for doodling or displaying artwork. A bedroom armoire provides tons of ways to keep things tidy. Pairs of E L G I N
shoes can have their own compartment, while bins and boxes neatly house belts, headbands, and other small accessories, leaving enough room on other shelves for a row of upright purses and stacked shirts. Mirrors on the insde of the doors make it easy to look good from head to toe. Available drawers turn into jewelry boxes, or folded silk scarves. Turn an armoire into a pet station. Outfit it with shelves for pet supplies with divided compartments to manageable way to organize treats, toys, grooming supplies, hanging leashes, and food. I love armoires turned linen storage – whether for the bathroom or end of hallway, towels and linens stack neatly inside. Decorative pillows, bedding and extra blankets also stow away nicely. Substitute a coat closet for a deco-
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rative armoire in your foyer / living space. Some homes do not have a coat closet but can utilize wall space to provide both coat storage and a decorative furniture piece. How much more versatile could one piece of furniture be? It could be one of your best investments as it converts to meet those forever lifechanging needs.
Renée Carpenter is the owner of Jennings Furniture and Design in St. Thomas.
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Harbourtown Fudge After five years, Jon and Vicci Coughlin have switched gears by Kate Burns
One of the newest additions to the Port Stanley streetscape is Harbourtown Fudge. Jon and Vicci Coughlin, who have owned and operated Telegraph House since 2002, now create house-made fudge and chocolates to sell in the front parlour along with running the bed and breakfast.
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FestivalTheatre Festival lTTheatre BOX OFFICE: 519.782.4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca
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Jon and Vicci are well known in London from their previous successful ventures: owning "Billy's Deli Restaurant" and "Jon & Vicci's Snack Bar." A trip to Port Stanley to visit friends brought the Coughlin’s face to face with a beautiful building that happened to be for sale. The prominent heritage home was built in 1876 by the Postmaster
Manuel Payne on the original stone foundation of Colonel John Bostwick’s home, who was the village founder. It is believed that Payne used the second floor landing for the telegraph. This area in the house provides a lookout onto the harbour and is also a semi-public space that could be used by customers without interfering in the house. After much work and renovations, the Coughlins opened the Telegraph House in 2002, with two very grand bed and breakfast suites, both with en suite bathrooms. Jon & Vicci were recognized by the Ontario Heritage Trust for the renovations and preservation of the building and a historical plaque now graces the front garden. Continued on next page
of our 2012 Season!
By David S. Craig July 25thh to Aug 111th By Norm Foster Aug 15 thh to Sept 8 th
CORPORATE CORPORA ATE T SPONSORS SP PONSORS
SHOW SHO W SPONSORS SPONSOR S RS
BMW LONDON LONDON LLONDON MITSUBISHI ONDON MIT SUBISHII
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VOLVO V OLLVO LLONDON ONDON
OF LLONDON ONDON N
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MINI MINI LLONDON ONDON
SEASO ON SPONSORS SEASON OF LLONDON ONDON
D I N I N G & E N T E R TA I N M E N T SAVOUR ELGIN
Continued from previous page
After five successful years of operating the Pineapple Dining Room at the Telegraph House, Jon and Vicci have switched gears and now create house-made fudge, chocolates and confections to sell at Harbourtown Fudge. Parrot Bay, Cabernet Chocolate, and Double Apricot Brandy, these names represent just a small sampling of the wonderful flavours available. Sweet fudge aromas from the kitchen enhance any B&B stay, as the treats are made in-house. Fudge
Harbourtown Fudge is a member of Savour Elgin. Savour Elgin is a program with a goal to promote and enhance culinary tourism in Elgin County and St. Thomas. The Savour Elgin trail is a route through Elgin County that visits some of the best restaurants, farms, wineries, and other culinary attractions that focus on food and drink that’s local and unique to Elgin County and St. Thomas. For full trail information visit www.savourelgin.ca or find us on Facebook
flavours include delights such as Cran-Raspberry, Pineapple Rum, Cappucino Cream and the all-time favourites of Maple and Chocolate. To cater to every sweet tooth, local honey and maple syrup are available for sale. Other sweets include, salt water taffy, traditional candies from Scotland and England and housemade chocolates of all kinds. Keep an eye on their website for more information on upcoming events, such as wine and chocolate pairings
Open: Wednesday - Sunday 11am – 5pm 205 Main Street, Port Stanley, Ontario www.telegraphhouse.com (519) 782-3006
166th Aylmer Fair “It’s All For You!”
Friday August 10th to Sunday August 12th Everyday
Dotsy the Val the Clown Snake Lady Friday Pet Show 2pm Free Entry
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Free Draw to Win a 60” TV
Elgin County Holstein Club Show 7pm
Saturday Pony and Junior Show 9AM
Kate Burns is the business development coordinator at the County of Elgin.
Opening Ceremonies 7pm Ambassador Crowning
Horse Drawn All you can Ride Wagon Rides $30 Everyday
4H Show 10am in the cattle barn
Motor Madness ALL DAY Demo Cross • Figure 8 • Mini Derby • Full Size Modifieds
Sunday 4H Sheep Show 10:30AM
Baby Show 12:30PM
Jeff West Hypnosis Experience 2pm
Pizza Eating Contest 3:30PM
www.aylmerfair.ca 773-3445 firstname.lastname@example.org M O N T H
H E A LT H Y L I V I N G EVERYDAY HEALTH
Health care budgets by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting, hosted by our local Member of Provincial Parliament Jeff Yurek, regarding the current round of OHIP budget cuts. Mr. Yurek arranged for various doctors of varying specialties to be in attendance. The meeting was well attended by members of our community and I found it to be very educational as well as eye opening. The format consisted of the various doctors taking a few minutes to introduce themselves and explain their particular specialty. They went on further to explain how the recent round of health care budgets cuts was going to affect their ability to serve the patients in their care. They also gave several good examples of places where the government would have been able to make cuts without af-
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fecting the ability to deliver services. One of the best examples was given by an opthamologist whose particular area of specialty involved treating macular degeneration. He said that currently there is a very good therapy that virtually arrests the progression of the disease in its tracks. This therapy involves an injection into the affected eye. The injection must be repeated in some cases on a monthly basis at a cost of $1,700 per injection. The interesting point is that the injection may not be necessary every month but the only way to know is to do a $30 test to find out. If the injection is not needed, then there is a savings of $1,700 as well as saving the patient from having to have a needle in the eye that month. The problem is that the government will only pay for a few of these tests per year but will willingly continue to pay for the injections. As a result,
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Remarkable savings possible in certain areas
many needless injections are done every year
many needless injections are done every year. The take-home message from the meeting was that if the government would work with doctors and listen to those who work in health care on the front lines, then savings could be found that would not affect services to the same extent that the current unilateral cuts will. For those of you wondering how this was going to come back around to chiropractic, here is the connection. Several years ago, chiropractic services were cut from those offered through OHIP. At that time, the chiropractic profession informed the government of the day that for the relatively small investment in chiropractic the return would save the system potentially millions of dollars. This remains true today and is backed up by research. Several years ago the provincial government of the time commissioned a study on the profession of chiropractic to examine its cost effectiveness as it related to the health care system of Ontario. The province retained a well known expert in the field of epidemiology from the University of Ottawa named Dr. Pran Magna. The study became known as the Magna report. This report lead to a series of research studies examining the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for low back pain.
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Among the many findings and recommendations that were provided by this research was the conclusion that, “Expenditure to improve access to chiropractic services, and the changed utilization patterns it produces, will lead to very substantial net savings in direct and indirect costs. Direct savings to Ontario's health care system may be as much as $770 million, will very likely be $548 million, and will be at least $380 million. The corresponding savings in indirect costs – made up of the short- and long-term costs of disability – are $3.775 billion, $1.849 billion and $1.255 billion.” If you are concerned with the current health care system and how your tax dollars are being spent, then I encourage you to contact our local MPP or to let the current provincial government know your feelings.
Dr. Greg Johnston is a chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment and Resources Centre in St. Thomas. August, 2012
LIFESTYLES THAT’S LIFE
What have the boys been up to? By bedtime, there really isn’t a need to ask
There really isn’t a need to ask my boys, now four and two years old, what they were up to on any given day. Raised on solar energy, by the time I’m marching them upstairs for their bath at night, they can be read like totem poles. From their heads to their toes they are living testaments to their day. With great effort, they climb the mountain, which in reality is the stairs leading to our second storey bathroom. If encouraged to “hurry up,” they point out that it is a really steep mountain requiring them to slink up the stairs on their stomachs grasping dramatically at each step to pull themselves higher. From my vantage point I can see their dirt- and grass-stained heels. Despite repeated warnings, my eldest insists on starting his day wearing his fireman rubber boots without socks. So by the time the dew has dried from the grass, blisters have formed on his heels. The Band-Aid requested to “make it all better” is now tattered and hanging on by a thread. His younger brother prefers his Crocs – rubber water shoes that can be worn everywhere – and he does. Today by the mud caked between his toes, I know that he helped his dad water the garden. Feet wet, he returned to his sandbox/construction site and bulldozed a few more hills. He lost one when he climbed the ladder to this playhouse and tossed the other on his way down the slide. By the grass stains, I know they didn’t get put back on until I found them ownerless on the grass an hour later. In the bathroom, as any brave mother of boys will do, I inspect their pockets. The eldest is harboring three August, 2012
pink rocks – special rocks that are somehow magically different from the handful that is already proudly displayed on the window sill in his bedroom. There are also some rabbit pellets; a snack for bunny that never got delivered. My youngest exclaims, “Dad did,” when I ask how he got the empty fruit snack wrapper in his pocket. His brother chirps in that all three boys had a little snack sometime that afternoon, “but it’s a secret.” Their mouths are stained with orange Kool-Aid and the “ice cream on a stick” we had for dessert is dribbled down the fronts of their shirts. Their hair is sprinkled with sand from yet another fight in the sandbox over the dump truck, tractor or shovel. They didn’t have enough time to play today. I told them they could set up their swimming pool and tomorrow isn’t a good enough promise. They need to ride their bikes, help Dad finish cutting grass, and feed bunny. And, no, they are definitely not tired. Wiped clean from the excursions of the day, they put on fresh pajamas and brush their teeth. Yawning and wiping their eyes, they forget they asked for one more story and climb quietly into bed. By the time I’ve added the rocks to
the window sill collection, drained the bath water and collected the wash they are fast asleep. Storing up all the energy they will need to seek out new adventures tomorrow. Yes, my boys are raised on solar energy. And their mom works from son up to son down.
Elizabeth VanHooren is general manager of the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority.
by Elizabeth VanHooren
all three boys had a little snack sometime that afternoon
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LIFESTYLES TIME ON MY HANDS by Duncan Watterworth
Neighbour, spare those stars! It’s midnight - do you know where your lights are shining?
goal is to promote cost-effective, targeted lighting, and minimize the skyglow that hovers over urban areas, degrading or even obliterating our view of the stars. The hardscrabble rural folk of the Bruce Peninsula, and their politi-
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cians, don’t always listen to environmentalists and astronomers, let alone poets and romantics, but they will listen to a dollar, and there are good economic arguments for dark skies. One estimate is that North America wastes $1.7 billion per year on “misdirected light”. Think of those satellite photos of the earth at night, with each community glowing like an unwitting star. That’s us, trying to light up the universe. And then there are tourist dollars – very welcome on the Bruce. The local tourist industry is actively advertising the darkest skies in Southern Ontario. “A generation of young people are growing up without ever having seen the Milky Way”, decries one pamphlet. This summer, the village of Lion’s Head is hosting sky-viewing nights every weekend, with telescopes provided by local amateur astronomers. Two hundred people – tourists and locals – showed up on Dominion Day weekend. At Bruce Peninsula National Park near Tobermory, starviewing programs are also held. At one recently, a Toronto camper scanned the night sky, and then asked where the Milky Way was. He had mistaken the bright swath of pinpoint stars for a cloud. The Dark Skies Movement is worldwide, but Canadian Geographic Magazine recently reported that, “Canada has, by any measure, more protected star-gazing sites than every other country in the world
combined”. In northern Ontario, the Bruce Peninsula is joined by the Torrance Barrens in Muskoka, and Manitoulin Island. In Canada, official “Dark-Sky Preserves” can be found in the National Parks of Point Pelee, Bruce Peninsula, and Jasper. Protected sites, preserves, communities – the terminology of the Dark Skies Movement varies across jurisdictions, but its promotional lingo – light pollution, light trespass, and “good neighbour lighting” – is universal. The largest single light polluter in Northern Bruce was the parking lot in Tobermory for the Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island. Authorities there resisted change, citing safety concerns and regulations. Eventually they allowed the Environment Group to test light levels, and make recommendations. In the end, new lighting increased the light that shone where it was wanted, substantially decreased light shining off the property, and decreased total hydro costs. A win-win. So who is the second largest light polluter? I don’t know for sure, but I’m squinting at you, neighbour.
Each night at my cottage before I go to bed, I walk out and gaze at the profusion of stars. I am awed by the same view that has inspired humanity, from the earliest times, in our ongoing quest to understand ourselves and our world – through mythology, religion, poetry, and science. The guy next door is a good neighbour, but years ago he installed his own personal streetlight high on a pole. The old fashioned globe blasts more light sideways and up than it does down. It flooded his property, and mine too. It invaded my bedroom window. Thankfully, a few cedar trees have grown tall enough to shield most of my property, but the monster still glares over our neighbourhood, which is otherwise streetlight free. It still lights up the sky. This hooligan beacon is a minor nuisance to me, but it also shines in the face of the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, which has officially proclaimed itself a “Dark Sky Community”. A few years ago the municipal council voted to join the Dark Skies Movement after a lobbying campaign led by the Bruce Peninsula Environment Group and local astronomers. The
the monster still glares over the neighbourhood
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Duncan Watterworth is recently a retiree and emptynester in St.Thomas.
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